Surviving against the Odds

Surviving against the Odds

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Read the foreword by Mara Soetoro-Ng President Barack Obamaa€™s mother, S. Ann Dunham, was an economic anthropologist and rural development consultant who worked in several countries including Indonesia. Dunham received her doctorate in 1992. She died in 1995, at the age of 52, before having the opportunity to revise her dissertation for publication, as she had planned. Dunhama€™s dissertation adviser Alice G. Dewey and her fellow graduate student Nancy I. Cooper undertook the revisions at the request of Dunhama€™s daughter, Maya Soetoro-Ng. The result is Surviving against the Odds, a book based on Dunhama€™s research over a period of fourteen years among the rural metalworkers of Java, the island home to nearly half Indonesiaa€™s population. Surviving against the Odds reflects Dunhama€™s commitment to helping small-scale village industries survive; her pragmatic, non-ideological approach to research and problem solving; and her impressive command of history, economic data, and development policy. Along with photographs of Dunham, the book includes many pictures taken by her in Indonesia. After Dunham married Lolo Soetoro in 1967, she and her six-year-old son, Barack Obama, moved from Hawaia€˜i to Soetoroa€™s home in Jakarta, where Maya Soetoro was born three years later. Barack returned to Hawaia€˜i to attend school in 1971. Dedicated to Dunhama€™s mother Madelyn, her adviser Alice, and a€œBarack and Maya, who seldom complained when their mother was in the field, a€ Surviving against the Odds centers on the metalworking industries in the Javanese village of Kajar. Focusing attention on the small rural industries overlooked by many scholars, Dunham argued that wet-rice cultivation was not the only viable economic activity in rural Southeast Asia. Surviving against the Odds includes a preface by the editors, Alice G. Dewey and Nancy I. Cooper, and a foreword by her daughter Maya Soetoro-Ng, each of which discusses Dunham and her career. In his afterword, the anthropologist and Indonesianist Robert W. Hefner explores the content of Surviving against the Odds, its relation to anthropology when it was researched and written, and its continuing relevance today.In this case they may be able to make a full-time occupation out of repair work. This is particularly true of cutlers (tukang asah/tukang gerinda), who sharpen tools but do not make major tool repairs. Major tool repairs require a complete setupanbsp;...

Title:Surviving against the Odds
Author: S. Ann Dunham
Publisher:Duke University Press - 2009-12-03

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